By Dave Andrusko
When you get to June in Washington, DC, there is inevitably excitement in the air. Typically, the Supreme Court is about to hand down decisions in controversial cases and then decide which controversial cases it will take up next fall.
Right now, all eyes are fixed on the High Court’s take on a facet of ObamaCare, which could come down by next Monday.
But will the High Court decide later this month to take up a law passed in a number of states: what pro-lifers believe it the commonsensical requirement that abortionists have admitting privileges at a local hospital in case of medical emergencies and that abortion clinics meet the requirements of ambulatory surgical centers?
Last Friday the full 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined a request by Texas abortion clinics to issue a stay on a decision by a three-judge panel that upheld the bulk of Texas’ historic H.B. 2. The law is scheduled to take effect on July 1.
Attorneys for abortion clinics in Texas then filed an emergency appeal with the Supreme Court.
Besides the inherent significance of the Supreme Court hearing any abortion case, why would this one be important?
For one thing, 16 states have protective laws requiring that abortionists have admitting privileged in a nearby hospital while 22 states have laws mandating that abortion clinics be treated like ASCs.
Second, the justices may—or may not—wish to revisit what it means by an “undue burden” on a woman’s “right” to abortion, first articulated in the 1992 Casey decision.
Third, if the High Court does take the case, a decision could come down a year from now, squarely in the middle of the 2016 presidential contest.